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Friday, June 20, 2014

Legal challenge  to buffer zone in Maine court

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A legal challenge to Portland’s city ordinance that establishes a buffer zone around entrances to women’s health clinics from which anti-abortion protesters are barred is being heard by a federal judge.

The Portland Press Herald reports that attorneys are scheduled to make their cases Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland. ...

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A legal challenge to Portland’s city ordinance that establishes a buffer zone around entrances to women’s health clinics from which anti-abortion protesters are barred is being heard by a federal judge.

The Portland Press Herald reports that attorneys are scheduled to make their cases Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Portland approved the creation of a 39-foot zone around entrances to reproductive health care facilities in November. The city has one Planned Parenthood clinic.

Supporters say it protects patients from harassment.

In February, a Shapleigh family filed a challenge. Daniel and Marguerite Fitzgerald and their children say the zone violates their constitutional free speech rights and their rights that prohibit unlawful search and seizure.

A similar case in Massachusetts could soon be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com.